Blue-collar crime refers to crimes that are somewhat more obvious and easily detected by police authorities. They often involve an element of physical force and threats, as well as conduct that is immediately recognizable as illegal. Blue-collar crime is often associated with geographic regions with low income or with over-population issues.
Blue-collar crime is usually contrasted with white-collar crime. White collar crime often involves crimes of a more corporate or business nature. These may involve activities that are mixed with legal activities but are still considered violations. These often have to do with issues like tax reporting and accounting. White-collar crimes are often more difficult to detect and are reported less frequently compared to blue collar crimes.
As mentioned, blue-collar crimes tend to involve crimes of a more physical or violent nature. These include:
- Shoplifting and other types of theft
- Robbery (theft plus use of force)
- Hit and run
On the other hand, the distinction between blue collar crime and white collar crime is slowly getting blurred over time, especially with the introduction of the internet and other technology. For instance, blue collar crime may also include various types of check fraud, credit fraud, and internet fraud. Thus, blue collar crime operations have become more sophisticated in recent years and decades.
Blue collar crimes tend to mostly be misdemeanors. They are generally not as serious as other types of crimes such as gang-related crimes, deadly weapon crimes, or drug crimes. Instead, blue collar crimes are so named due to their association with average, working class citizens.
Penalties for misdemeanors usually involve some sort of fine combined with short jail time (usually only a few days to less than one year). On the other hand, some blue collar crimes can result in serious felony charges. These may include situations involving repeat offenders, use of a deadly weapon, or crimes that cause serious bodily harm to the victim.
Like any criminal case, the defendant may benefit from hiring his or her own criminal law attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to research and explain the applicable laws. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need assistance with any type of criminal matters. Your attorney can represent you during trial and can also research to see which types of defenses apply to your case.